ASHDOWN Grail and Saint

Bass Player|June 2020

ASHDOWN Grail and Saint
Amp-makers Ashdown step into bass guitar world, with this Dan Lakin-designed range of workhorse instruments. Phil Mann steps up for a test
Phil Mann

The prospect of taking a seminal instrument design and then attempting to make your own unique version, after nearly 70 years of evolution, is a bleak prospect for more than a few luthiers. However, that’s not been the case for Mark Goodayand his team at Ashdown Engineering, who have teamed up with the revered Dan Lakin—formerly of Lakland—to produce what can only be described as a formidable range of instruments.

Build Quality

Straight from their Ashdown-branded gigbags, these basses appeal thanks to their high-gloss polyurethane finishes and matching headstocks. The Grail avoids any potentially cumbersome attributes seen with some mid-priced five-string basses with a beautifully shallow, D-shaped neck. The multi-layered birchwood oil finish makes it feel more expensive than it actually is, with detailing such as a 46.5mm bone nut (44.5mm on the Saint) and Ultralite Hipshot tuners. Tried-and-tested components and materials have been used elsewhere in the construction, suggesting that these are instruments built to last many hard hours on stage.

Sounds And Playability


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June 2020